Overcoming Fear by Trusting in Jesus

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3 NIV

Fear has always been my constant companion. It doesn’t take much to trigger fear in me. I’m often afraid of something. In fact when I’m not afraid, I worry about what will happen next and the cycle of fear continues.

When I finally realized why I was so scared and that I didn’t have to live afraid anymore, then fear lost its grip on me.

Fear still visits me more than I’d like to admit, but when it shows up now, I’m armed and ready.

Are you ready to say, #ByeByeFear?

Click below to watch as I share my story of “Overcoming Fear by Trusting in Jesus” at the Hope Restored Women’s Conference.

Additional Resources:

Fight F. E. A. R. by…

F – Fixing your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2-3)
E – Engaging with safe community (Hebrews 10:23-25)
A – Admitting you’re struggling with fear (Psalm 34:17-18)
R – Releasing it, and replacing it with God’s promises (Psalm 56:3)

Questions for Personal Reflection:  

  1. What fears are holding you back?
  2. What lies were whispered to you that make you feel unworthy, unloved and insecure?
  3. Have you given Him full access to your story?

Key Verses:  

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My King, My Redeemer

He reaches deep into the pit to deliver you from death. He crowns you with unfailing love and compassion like a king. Psalm 103:4 VOICE

I was in a pit.

Discouragement blew in like a tornado and I started to sink.

It was a slow and steady decline.

There was so much noise in my mind, and everything felt intense.

Glancing at social media made me feel inadequate, insecure, and intimidated like I was in junior high again.

The darkness was so loud.

So many “too’s”.  #metoo #themtoo #churchtoo

Words echoed all of the aches and pain.

Comments made me nauseous.

Hypersenstive and full of doubt, I felt like I was whining as I prayed that morning, “God, what is wrong with me? Help!”

As I stepped out of the shower, a song was playing on Pandora called “I Won’t Go Back” by William McDowell.

I wasn’t feeling it, but I was singing it. I was declaring it with him, “I won’t go back, I can’t go back, to the way it used to be. Before your presence came and changed me.”

And then the very next song that played was “Take Me To The King” by Tamela Mann and I was immediately reminded of how far God has brought me and how He has delivered me! That was the song of my heart years ago when I began my journey to heal from Childhood Sexual Abuse. It helped me to see Him as my King, and reminded me that I was His Daughter, His Princess.

How in the world did I find myself in the pit – again? Was I pushed or did I just slip in slowly? I honestly didn’t know the answer, but I knew without a doubt that the dark, hopeless pit was no longer my address.

I don’t live there anymore, and I won’t go back!

My Redeemer has delivered me.  He has already brought me out.

I immediately started to praise Him for what He has delivered me from, for where He has brought me, and for all He has done for me.

My King is faithful.  

Maybe like me, you have landed in the pit, again?  The enemy likes to make the pit seem nice and cozy, as if it is our home sweet home. When the walls of that pit are staring back at you, look up and let the One who lifts your head bring you back with a grateful heart of praise – for He is our rock and our redeemer! That pit is no longer our address. We don’t live there anymore and we are not going back.

We have been redeemed.  Let’s declare it together:

Praise the Lord, my soul;

    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, my soul,

    and forget not all his benefits—

who forgives all your sins

    and heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit

    and crowns you with love and compassion, 

who satisfies your desires with good things

    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-5 NIV

Darkness into Light

You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
    darkness is my closest friend. Psalm 88:18 NIV 

“Darkness creeps into my life,
and robs my passion to live.
It swallows me whole and takes my breath
no kindness will it give.
I’m falling deep beneath the sea
and drowning in my despair
can someone take this away from me
Does anybody care?”

That was the beginning of a poem I wrote in college. I truly felt like darkness was my closest companion. Darkness wouldn’t leave me alone. No matter how hard I tried to be good, I wasn’t. I went to Bible Study, and then I went to clubs. I couldn’t get numb enough. The ache was always there.

Childhood Sexual Abuse causes extreme isolation. I couldn’t get too close to anyone because I didn’t want them to know.  It was too risky.  So, I kept all of the secrets to myself.

I had to wear a mask and pretend all is well.

But behind the mask, I was writhing in pain. My head hurt, my stomach hurt, and the voices were screaming…

The darkness is so very dark.  

The shame would crash over me at unexpected times. Maybe it was a comment someone made. I would read more into their comment and replay it over and over in my mind. Do they know? Can they tell what kind of girl I really am?

How do you hide from the darkness?
How do you run from the darkness?
How can you escape the darkness when it is your constant companion?

Shame’s raw aroma lingers far longer than the abuse.

The darkness says you are bad.
The darkness says you are guilty.
The darkness says you deserve it.
The darkness says God made you that way.
The darkness says there is no hope for you.

All of the secrets and memories fester in the darkness. The wounds ooze behind closed doors and eyelids.

And then there was light.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:5

Finally, in counseling I was able to use words to describe the darkness. As I continued to step into the light, the darkness started to lose its power over me.  The light brought me Truth, community, and love. I was no longer alone in the dark.

The Truth says you are wonderfully made.
The Truth says there is no condemnation.
The Truth says you are worthy.
The Truth says God made you in His image.
The Truth says there is hope.

There is hope, and His name is Jesus. When I gave Him access to my story and the darkness – His light and Truth healed me.

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

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Their Words Cut Like Swords

Listen to the filth that comes from their mouths; their words cut like swords. “After all, who can hear us?” they sneer.  Psalm 59:7 NLT

I could barely utter the words to my counselor. Vulgar words were whispered to me in the darkness to describe my body parts and they were playing over and over in my mind like a skipping record.

Who says that to a child?

An abuser.

Childhood Sexual Abuse is not silent abuse. It is incredibly loud. The words cut like swords and leave deep wounds in the heart, mind, body and soul.

Secrets.  Shhhhhhhhhhhh.

Words that were threats to keep me silent.

Words that made me think I deserved or wanted the abuse.

Words that made me feel responsible.

Words that made me feel like something was wrong with me.

Words that filled my tank to the rim with insecurity, fear, anxiety, paranoia, and shame.  

And while I smiled and did my best on the outside to show the world that everything was just fine, those words continued to taunt my insides.

My lips trembled when I spelled some of those words to my counselor with my head bowed in shame and fear. As hard as it was to share them with her, it helped me tremendously to get them out of my head and into the light.

The secrets were all lies, and they were being replaced with new words filled with truth.

I am not alone.

I have a voice.

I am worthy of love.

It was not my fault.

I am wonderfully made.

His truth replenished my empty tank with hope, faith, love, thankfulness, and courage.

Yes, the lies and secrets cut like swords.

But His Truth is sharper.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12 NLT

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